ATM machines are associated with shopping malls with retail stores and numerous credit card transactions or financial institutions. For the latter, the ATM equipment is used to withdraw money from a bank account. Having a built-in ATM machine inside your business location makes it easy for customers to pay for products and services.
However, buying an ATM machine is not for businesses and banks only. For people looking for passive income opportunities, owning an ATM machine is an option they may want to consider. So, of course, one of the first questions people looking to become ATM operators may want to answer is: how much do ATM machines cost?
The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you might think. It depends on what kind of ATM bank machine you buy, and there are lots of options. You can buy a new machine, used ATM cash machines, or a freestanding ATM machine, and there are dozens of technology levels from which to choose. This article will try and give an overview of how much a basic ATM machine might cost you based on your purchasing decisions.
Buying a New ATM Machine
When most people buy an ATM machine, they want to buy a new one. While there are several reasons for this, the main one is that older/used ATM machines are often not EMV chip card compliant. EMV chips cards are the newest generation of credit and debit cards that have replaced the magnetic strips of older cards.
The chip cards are significantly safer for users and have reduced the rate of fraud by over 50%. Most major card companies now require ATM machine companies to produce ATMs to be EMV compliant, and owners of non-compliant ATMs are often liable for any fraud on these machines. So, buying a non-EMV-compliant ATM means that you either have to pay for costly EMV upgrades or be willing to bear the risk and cost of fraud.
Another reason why most people prefer to buy a new automated teller machine is that they tend to have better appearances and technology. With better screens to offer more services, most customers would choose to use a new ATM, and so most owners would prefer to buy a new machine. New machines are also less likely to have mechanical issues that are costly to fix.
If you are buying a new machine, the cost ranges hugely. Some estimates range from $1,000 – to $25,000, depending on the type of machine. However, a unique traditional freestanding ATM will cost you about $3,000. You can find more details about the ATM types and expenses range in our ATM machine cost guide.
Buying a Used ATM Machine
According to CostOwl, buying a used ATM can cost as little as $500. While it is likely that most machines cost somewhat more, it is still clearly cheaper than buying a new machine. However, with savings come tradeoffs.
Firstly, you need to make sure that any used ATM you may buy is in working order. It doesn’t save much money to buy a used ATM that only works for four months. Unfortunately, it can be hard to inspect a used ATM before buying it, and after buying it, any issues you may run into might be hard to solve. If you believe in a used ATM, we highly recommend that you only buy from large, well-known ATM vendors with long histories of selling quality used ATMs.
It is also essential to make sure any used ATM you buy is EMV compliant. As mentioned above, purchasing a non-EMV compliant machine requires either an expensive upgrade or that you, as the owner, accept much more liability for fraud on the device. ATM Depot has a list of discontinued, non-EMV compliant ATMs to watch for when buying machines (broken machines are listed at the bottom of the page).
ATM machine prices for used ones cost between $1,200 to $1,800. If you want to buy countertop ATM machines instead of a freestanding cash machine, budget around $1,500 to $2,500.
Upgrading Used ATMs
But what if you have a great deal on used ATMs that are not EMV compliant? Can you upgrade them to be EMV compliant? Yes, it is possible to upgrade ATMs to be EMV compliant. However, the cost is estimated at $2,000 – $4,000 per machine, which takes away the savings from buying a used machine. This upgrade cost is more than the average cost of a new ATM. So, purchasing a non-EMV compliant machine does not make financial sense.
Renting or Leasing an ATM Machine
Before buying your own ATM, you should also take some time and look at options for renting or leasing an ATM. If you are an existing business owner looking to buy an ATM for your customers and not make a significant profit from the machine itself, it might be easier just to rent a machine. While it will be less profitable, it has no upfront purchase cost and will mean you don’t have to maintain the machine.
Leasing is also an option for anyone who doesn’t have the money to buy a machine outright. Most ATM sellers also have leasing options, but they also charge transaction fees.
ATM Maintenance Costs
For an ATM owner, the main cost is the purchase price. However, it is also essential to research the other costs of owning an ATM. For example, ATMs must be regularly serviced to reload their cash and receipt paper and to fix any mechanical issues that may come up.
While you as an owner can perform this maintenance yourself to save costs, many people prefer to outsource this to a specialist company. This is certainly better from a logistics viewpoint, but it adds costs to your machine and lowers your profit.
Factors to Consider Before Buying an ATM
Now that we have provided some ATM machine sample costs, let’s look at the factors to consider before you buy an ATM machine.
- Do you want to install a dedicated phone line for the ATM machine, use your existing internet connection to run a wire to the ATM, or use a wireless ATM? ATM businesses can utilize wireless technology if they have a reliable WiFi internet connection.
- What ATM processing network do you plan to use?
- How much money do you plan to spend? Are you getting a built-in cash machine, a freestanding ATM machine, or a countertop ATM machine?
- What ATM company are you buying from?
- Do you prefer a fixed or cash removable cassette? If you plan to get an additional cash cassette, it costs between $100 and $500.
- How much you’ll charge as a transaction fee. The national average surcharge is $2.66.
- The ATM cash machine’s location. Check the distance between the nearest ATM machine to yours, and how it will affect your business.
- Whether you need a thermal receipt printer
- Do you have enough floor space to place the ATM machine?
Is It Worth It?
Lastly, before buying an ATM, you should calculate the potential profit you could see from owning it. The average ATM fee is $4.61 per transaction. So, if you can place your ATM in a place with high foot traffic that can bring in about four transactions a day, you could see revenue of ~$6,700 a year.
Assuming a purchase price of $3,000, that’s over a 200% gross return! And, of course, if you are placing an ATM in your existing business, like gas stations or convenience stores, you also increase sales from customers using the ATM cash in your industry.
But, of course, you must also consider the costs of maintaining the machine. Depending on your situation, these can include renting the ATM location, credit card processing fees, leasing costs or the price of having an ATM bank machine installed, and servicing costs.
In addition, you must also have ‘vault cash,’ which is cash on hand to refill your ATM as needed. While this cash is not an ‘expense’ per se, it is a large amount of money you must have and cannot be used for your actual business. If you are considering loading cash using a cash loading service, factor in the costs too. An optional cash loading service runs between $35 to $60 per month on average.
ATM expenses range too much to estimate the profit of owning an ATM for everyone. Still, if you want to calculate your potential profit, you can use this online profit calculator from National Cash Systems. But remember – any potential profit you estimate is only an estimate and is not guaranteed.
Regardless of precisely what kind of ATM you want to buy, you have many options. Below are a few ATM sellers and servicers that you can contact for more information.
- Mobile Money claims to be the “#1 ATM Provider in the US”, and they can also provide all installation and servicing for ATMs bought from them.
- America’s ATM services small and medium-sized businesses.
- ATM Depot provides ATM solutions to entrepreneurs and businesses wanting to own an ATM.
- ATM Atom specializes in parts, repairs, and training for ATMs.
- “Purchase an ATM Machine.” MobileMoney.net, MobileMoney.net, https://www.mobilemoney.net/purchase-buy-atm-machine.
- Sliker, Bob. “How to Upgrade Your ATMs to EMV and Stay in Business.” 10 June 2015, http://www.atmatom.com/how-to-upgrade-your-atms-to-emv-and-stay-in-business/.
- Ann, Rissa. “ATM Machine Buying Guide.” Business.com, Business.com, 14 Jan. 2019, www.business.com/articles/atm-buying-guide/?_ga=2.164631999.1658209850.1580513045-3649661.1578862039.
- “How Much Does an ATM Machine Cost?” Cost Owl, Cost Owl, 2020, www.costowl.com/b2b/atm-machine-cost.html?fbclid=IwAR0C1NTgwc-tNI39Qi1pkgXMwHlvCLINDPm07NwqHdyK60rDSkIy4sDzn24.
- Barrington, Richard. “Bank Fees Survey 2019.” Money-Rates.com, Money-Rates.com, 27 Aug. 2019, www.money-rates.com/research-center/bank-fees/.